By Margaret Floyd,  NTP HHC CHFS

By Margaret Floyd, NTP HHC CHFS

Indulge me for a moment:

Look at your hand. The skin, nails, maybe you can see some tendons and veins, freckles, a little bit of hair. Now make a fist, and then shake out your hand. Think of the muscles engaging to contract and relax. The bones to which they attach, keeping form intact.

Soft HandsNow think of where your hand came from. A weird question, I know, but stay with me. Where did it come from?
What was it before it was a hand?

Food.

Yup, every single cell in that magnificent hand, from the tip of your longest fingernail to the core of your bones, was once food.

 

You are what you eat.

It’s a simple concept. Cliché almost. And yet, it’s so basic we take it for granted.

When you stop to really think about it, it’s utterly amazing. Every bite of food we take gets broken down – both mechanically (chewing) and chemically (enzyme actions) – into its smallest components: nutrients. These nutrients get absorbed into the body at a cellular level as fuel, as building and repair material, as hormones to tell the body what to do and when to do it, as both form and function. Anything not needed or used to its fullest extent gets eliminated. And the process repeats.

Have you ever built anything from scratch? Any craftsman will tell you that the quality of the final product is determined by the quality of the materials, the tools, and the skill of the craftsman himself. And, he can’t build something out of nothing. If you’re building a car and you’re missing the tires, you can’t take the fabric for the seats and fashion tires out of it. Well, you could, but they wouldn’t work very well. You get my point.

It’s no different for our bodies. We need the proper materials, the proper tools, and the proper skills. And we need all the materials and tools, not just some of them. Our bodies are amazingly skilled at taking the materials intended for one function and using them for something else, but this is taxing over time. Fabric tires might work in the short term, but they’re a dangerous ride in the long haul and they certainly won’t take you far.

And so:

If you are what you eat (and you are),

And if your body’s form (appearance, structure) and function (performance, how you feel) matter to you (which they do – they affect everything you do, every day),

Then the quality of your food is paramount.

Every single condition in the body can either be helped or hindered by what you eat.

There is no neutral reaction, and there is nothing that isn’t affected. From the minor (headaches, skin rash, digestive complaints, low energy levels, mood…) to the major (full-blown disease) your diet is a factor.

As one of my teachers, Joshua Rosenthal, liked to say, “We are, at our most basic level, walking food.”

What will you be?

photo credit: Doug Wheller

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